By Rohan Mattu
Mosaic artist Loring Cornish has transformed his two Baltimore row homes into shimmering, faith infused, spectacular installations – with floors meticulously covered in coins, chandeliers comprised of discarded colored glass, and a shower of telephones.
Having one home in Fell’s Point, and another near Druid Hill Park, Cornish opens his homes for all to see, as visitors wander through the narrow, shimmering hallways, and see pieces that could have only been painstaking to create, one might wonder “why?”
“My art is a form of my expression to God, “Cornish said. “I became an artist because I wanted to worship God full-time, without any interruptions. Out of my worship came art, it is a by product of my worship to God, that’s how I would explain my art. I never made up in my mind that I was going to be an artist.”
Cornish, who declined to give his age, has always been religious. Raised in Baltimore, his grandfather was a deacon, and his mother instilled her father’s beliefs into her children.
Cornish learned his art through a sick friend in Los Angeles, whom he chose to stay with and take care of.
“As I was taking care of him, he taught me how to do mosaic art at his sick-bed, because I needed something to do as I wouldn’t leave his side,” Cornish said. “That’s how the art got into me, he was the best artist I had ever seen in my life.”
One of Cornish’s core sentiments is that of freedom in its purest form. He tries his best to avoid restraint from others, and he tries his best not to restrain his art.
“I have to continue to be free, I can’t do what other people think should be done. I have to do me, I can’t do structure, my gallery doesn’t work like that,” Cornish said. “It’s important to me that I can worship God the way I want to with my art, whether I’m naked, or fully clothed, or shirtless, or cussing, or whatever. “
Cornish prefers most his time by himself, as he feels most liberated with himself. He wants to be able to turn his music up when he wants to, get out of bed when he wants to, and turn out the light when he wants to. His freedom and solitude is his way of worshipping god full-time, and his unique art is the embodiment of his devotion.
“It’s my freedom to be free as god has made me to be, without the stipulation of what religion or worship looks like.”